Inward-focused or outward? Christian congregations at a crossroads (COMMENTARY)

Print More
Signposts at a crossroad.

Photo courtesy of tomertu via Shutterstock

Signposts at a crossroad.

Active RNS subscribers and members can view this content by logging-in here.

(RNS) Christianity in America faces a crossroads: Do we serve only ourselves and people like us, or do we serve the larger community, especially its outcasts and vulnerable?

  • There is no crossroads, merely a secular process of decay which has been ongoing for more than fifty years if not longer. Since most mainline congregations trade in dreary sing-alongs, dreary potluck suppers, and dreary coffee hours presided over by the vacuous and manipulative creatures who are the issue of seminaries in our time, they have just about nothing of value to offer anyone. There is some nice real estate, which talented developers can turn into office buildings.

  • James Carr

    America needs to develop,again, a unique American identity. Politically correct approaches to every world wide issue renders our outlook meaningless.
    Islam, as the rallying point of terrorism, needs to be pressured to squash its radical adherents or suffer discriminatory practices toward the entire religion.
    State and Religion in this country need to calm down in their efforts to rob the other of its authority in its own house.
    The press could focus on the good America does. Politicians could, God forbid, steer clear of corruption and stand for something firmly……..not change with every audience they speak before.
    Impeach Obama.

  • Mike

    The writer treats the church as a service agency. From his other work, I already know he has a liberal agenda and seeing the church as a service agency brings it down to a human level from being divine in any vicarious way – where we can reshape the church at the level of its very nature. This supports a humanist worldview. God is left out – just go back and look at his foundational question: Do we serve people just like us or do we serve everyone? He doesn’t ask if we serve God. He leaves God completely out of the conversation, let alone base the conversation on God.

  • Pingback: The Certainty of the Shroud | SPIR()

  • Brad

    Except Jesus talks a ton about serving humanity, putting ourselves last, lifting up the forsaken and downtrodden; He says serving humanity is serving Him.

    “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

    It is not about ourselves. Jesus explicitly says God will take care of us, yet we obsess over ourselves, which is quite a secular trait. It’s not about what God can do for us or what we want Him to do for us. We’re here to serve each other because serving each other and loving each other is serving and loving God. He did that for us, but we are too good to do it for others?

    We as Christians love to talk about grace and mercy when we speak about ourselves, but we love to preach fire, brimstone, and condemnation when talking about others.